10 Times Popular Luxury Brands Made Ugly Cars
Luxury cars are everywhere these days, even non-premium automakers have their own spinoffs. Unfortunately, with this massive influx of luxury brands, the market has become too saturated with premium and luxury cars, causing some automakers to think outside the box in terms of design.
Although many of these new designs result in very nice cars – especially new Aston Martins and Volvos – other times it can create controversy in the automotive world. More recently, BMW’s decision on its new grilles, reminiscent of BMW racing cars, caused such a stir that many are still talking about it.
So, as luxury brands compete for attention in this endless car war, it’s inevitable that some of their cars will be poorly designed or just plain ugly. Here are 10 times popular luxury brands that made hideous cars in an effort to stand out.
ten Maybach Exelero
The Exelero was a unique ultra-luxury car made by German luxury brand Maybach – before the company went bankrupt. Since then, Maybach has fallen under the Daimler umbrella, producing ultra-chic versions of the S-Class and GLS-Class.
The Exelero was powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.9-liter V12 engine producing 690 hp and 752 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The Exelero features 23-inch rims and is constructed from aluminum, with the exterior fitted with chrome accents. The interior is an exotic mix of supple red leather, shiny carbon fiber and milled aluminum parts. Although it looks spectacularly extravagant, the car as a whole isn’t all that appealing.
9 Ferrari F512M
The Ferrari 512 Testarossa is a symbol of the 1980s and one of the most iconic supercars of the past 40 years. It had pop-up headlights, nice aerodynamic strakes on the side and an intimidating but understated exterior.
Ferrari updated the 512 TR in 1994 and renamed it the F512 M. It had to comply with new pedestrian safety regulations, which meant that the pop-up headlights had to be replaced with fixed headlights, as well as new further changes front and rear. The changes to the vehicle have drastically changed the perception, making it look more like a kit car than a mighty Ferrari.
8 Rolls Royce Camargue
Rolls-Royces are by far the most luxurious and exclusive cars on the planet. They are designed to look timeless in all eras and even if their technology would age, their quality would not. That said, the Rolls-Royce Camargue does not fit into this category.
The Camargue was the first post-war Rolls-Royce not to be designed in-house and was the marque’s most expensive car in the 1970s. It had many new technologies such as dual-zone air conditioning, but that did nothing to improve his style. The car was powered by the famous Bentley-Rolls-Royce 6.75 liter V8, but featured GM’s 3-speed Turbo-Hydromatic transmission. Not the best car in Rolls-Royce’s impressive catalog.
7 Bentley Bentayga
The Bentley Bentayga is the brand’s first foray into the SUV market and has so far been quite successful. The problem is that the Bentayga isn’t that good looking. The interior is gorgeous, but the exterior is a bulbous piece of metal, which contains only a tiny hint of Bentley’s design language.
The original EXP 9f concept had the right mix of ostentation and vulgarity (which Rolls-Royce pulls off brilliantly) to make it appealing, but the production version was slicked down too much. Bentley updated the Bentayga with the handsome Continental GT in mind, but it turned out to be rather hit or miss.
6 Alfa Romeo SZ
The Alfa Romeo SZ is a cool car. It’s beyond ugly and unattractive, but still cool. It was a model designed by the great Italian design house Zagato. Mechanically the SZ is based on the Alfa Romeo 75 saloon, sharing the drivetrain – a 3.0 liter busso V6 mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and transmission going to the rear wheels.
The SZ was complemented by a roadster version called the RZ, which featured a convertible top. The car was designed using CAD software and the body panels were made of plastic composite material. It’s not the most beautiful car Alfa Romeo has ever made.
5 BMW X6
The BMW X6 is the coupé version of the X5 “SAV” and is one of the least attractive models for a mainstream vehicle. Where the X5 is well-proportioned and good-looking, the X6 looks like a bloated, over-styled mess of design.
Since BMW became one of the first manufacturers to build an SUV coupe – which proved surprisingly popular – almost every other automaker has dabbled in this market. Audi, VW, Genesis, Mercedes-Benz, and even Porsche have built their own varieties, but BMW still stands out, even though each generation has been horrible to watch.
4 Ferrari 575 GTZ Zagato
Another Zagato creation, the Ferrari 575 GTZ Zagato, was a limited run supercar based on the 575M. It featured the same 5.7-liter V12 as the regular 575M, producing 510 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque. Like the 575M, the GTZ Zagato was available with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed F1 automatique.
The styling of the GTZ Zagato is inspired by the Ferraris of the 1960s, in particular the 250 Testarossa and 250 GT Berlinetta Zagato. The 575 GTZ Zagato was also built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 250 line. Where the Ferrari 250 and 575 were fine cars, the 575 GTZ Zagato is not. It looks like something Rinspeed would have designed. Nevertheless, six units were built – two of which were specified for Japanese collector, Yoshiyuki Hayashi.
3 Maybach 62
The Maybach 62 was an ultra-extravagant car built on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class platform, with the intention of being the most luxurious car on sale. It was available between 2000 and 2012, before Maybach went bankrupt and was acquired by Daimler. The Maybach line included various versions of the 57 and 62, with prices ranging from $370,000 for the “cheapest” 57 to $1,350,000 for the Maybach Landaulet.
The 62 was just a stretched 57 – a long-wheelbase S-Class – and all models featured either Mercedes-Benz’s 5.5-liter twin-turbo V12 or the company’s 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12. Power ranged from 542 hp in the base 57 and 62 models to 604 hp in the ‘S’ versions – the ‘ZEPPELIN’ special models producing 630 hp. The ’57 and ’62 Maybachs were just glittering S-Classes, selling for two, three or ten times as much. Poetic.
2 BMW iX
The recently launched BMW iX is the brand’s first bespoke electric SUV, unlike the iX3 which is an electric conversion. The iX has polarized audiences with its wildly controversial styling and odd proportions, however, it’s almost becoming the new standard for BMW and other electric car makers.
BMW stuck with the race-inspired kidney grilles as seen on the current M3 and M4. The interior is well laid out, the only questionable part being the oddly shaped steering wheel. What can’t be judged is the performance – 523hp and 564lb-ft of torque from dual motors driving all four wheels, with a usable battery capacity of 105KWh – resulting in a claimed range of around 315 miles in xDrive50 version. A new M60 version is on the horizon, which will offer even more power and range.
1 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato
Aston Martin has a history of weird and wonderful cars – from the absolutely gorgeous V8 Vantage to the weird, wedge-shaped futuristic Lagonda. Aston Martin’s car catalog is beautiful and special, except for one small flaw – the V8 Vantage Zagato.
It’s another Zagato model, which is odd because the latest V12 Vantage Zagato and the Vanquish Zagato are two of the most beautiful cars out there. Anyway, the original Vantage Zagato was in production between 1986 and 1990, and 89 were built in total. The Vantage Zagato is one of the most controversial designs in the automotive world, with most enthusiasts disliking it. Still, Rowan Atkinson bought the first right-hand drive version and took it racing. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.
These 10 cars were very innovative… but ugly
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